Need advice regarding babysitting when the parent wants to do something questionable

Hi I was hoping someone could lend me their great wisdom. Just to clarify things beforehand, my family is not Catholic. We were raised pretty much in a secular fashion. However, my little sister is starting RCIA in September. :wink:

So here’s my concern:

One of my older sisters is a single mom (never married) with two girls (age 6, 3) and she regularly has my 18 year old sister watch them when she goes to work, goes out, etc.

My older sister is currently dating a non-practicing Catholic who has been divorced and as far as we know, does not have an annulement. He himself has two young boys around the same ages as my nieces (if that is relevant at all).

Today my older sister asked my little sister to babysit Friday morning so she could go visit the man she is dating. My little sister agreed to it. I feel like I should talk to my little sister about this. I have mentioned to my little sister several weeks ago that providing child care for our older sister while she dates a supposedly married man is not appropriate. Right now I am kind of second-guessing myself. I don’t want to sound judgemental but at the same time a married man IS a married man right?

Do you think it is unnacceptable for someone to watch another person’s children while they go do something along those lines?

My first question is how old is your sister that’s babysitting and if she’s a minor how do your parents feel about the situation? If she’s a minor I would see how your parents feel and take direction from their response. If your sister is of age then, since you’ve already mentioned your feelings to her, I would hesitate to bring them up again. Mostly because it seems like you’d then be trying to pit one sister against another to go along with your viewpoints.

My little sister is 18. My parents aren’t Catholic so they see the situation my older sister is in as normal. Meaning, they think that a divorce actually dissolves a marriage.

I just thought perhaps I should try speaking to my little sister again since she is going to become Catholic and I am her sponsor.

But I can see how it could seem like I’m trying to pit sister against sister. I certainly don’t want to cause any drama. :blush:

Hmm - 18 is that fine line between adult and child. Maybe try talking to her one more time, but if she still feels that babysitting is fine I’d drop it then. Sometimes actions speak louder than words so if she sees you not babysitting or having problems with your sister dating this guy, then maybe your younger sister will start seeing more of why you have a problem with the situation and ask questions.

I’d totally drop it. It does seem like you’d be stiring up trouble between your sisters.

I’m sooooo happy your little sister is starting RCIA in the Fall. I know firsthand how hard it is to be the lone Catholic in a secular family. You are obviously a good witness of our Faith. In time, perhaps your older sister will follow along too… but I doubt that will happen if there are hurt feelings between the two of you… and taking away her babysiter because her boyfriend is divorced, yet married in the eyes of the Church is probably not a step in that direction. I know my own very secular family would think I had a screw loose if I suggested a legally divorced person was actually still married and commiting adultry.

And besides, you said you aren’t sure that he doesn’t have an annullment. Even if he wasn’t interested in obtaining one, maybe his ex-wife was?

I say pick your battles. This is not one of them.

Your older sister’s personal life is her own business, however much we disapprove. The children are better off in the care of your younger sister instead of a stranger when she goes out.

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